Agricultural Ontology Service

Agricultural Ontology Service

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The Agricultural Ontology Service (AOS) shall serve as a reference initiative that structures and standardises agricultural terminology in multiple languages for use of any number of systems in the agricultural domain and provide several services. The purpose of the AOS is to achieve more interoperability between agricultural systems. Applying standards promoted through the AOS shall account for better indexing and retrieval of agricultural bibliographic resources.
The goals of the Agricultural Ontology Service are realized by assisting community partners in building ontologies. An ontology (computer science)
Ontology (computer science)
In computer science and information science, an ontology formally represents knowledge as a set of concepts within a domain, and the relationships between those concepts. It can be used to reason about the entities within that domain and may be used to describe the domain.In theory, an ontology is...

 is a system that contains concepts, the definitions of those concepts, and the specification of relationships among those concepts. For those coming from the traditional library world, a thesaurus can be interpreted as a simple ontology, i.e. a conceptual hierarchy built by terms that are interlinked with few very generic relationships. An ontology goes beyond and defines and enables the creation of more formal, more specific and more powerful relationships as well as constraints and rules. An ontology captures and structures the knowledge in a domain, and by doing so captures the meaning of concepts that are specific to that domain. This meaning will then be available to end-users through the use of tools (e.g. indexing or search and retrieval applications) that apply the ontologies.

Agriculture Ontology Service : Motivation


In the agricultural sector there exist already many well-established and authoritative controlled vocabularies, such as FAO
Fão
Fão is a town in Esposende Municipality in Portugal....

's AGROVOC
AGROVOC
AGROVOC was first developed in the 1980s as a multilingual structured thesaurus for all subject fields in agriculture, forestry, fisheries, food and related domains . Its main purpose was to standardize the indexing process for the AGRIS database in order to make searching simpler and more...

 Thesaurus, the CAB Thesaurus, and the National Agricultural Library Thesaurus in the United States. However, for semantic tools to be entirely effective on the Internet, there is a need to re-assess the traditional "thesaurus
Thesaurus
A thesaurus is a reference work that lists words grouped together according to similarity of meaning , in contrast to a dictionary, which contains definitions and pronunciations...

" approach and move towards a more modern technique that better suits the Web environment, such as the development of "ontologies". Ontology
Ontology
Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, existence or reality as such, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations...

 in information management is a concept that has been emerging from the various Semantic Web
Semantic Web
The Semantic Web is a collaborative movement led by the World Wide Web Consortium that promotes common formats for data on the World Wide Web. By encouraging the inclusion of semantic content in web pages, the Semantic Web aims at converting the current web of unstructured documents into a "web of...

 initiatives. Roughly speaking, in the context of AOS, an ontology can be defined as a semantic knowledge organization system that contains concepts and their terms, the definitions of those concepts and terms, and the specification of relationships amongst them.

Ontological Relationships


Ontological relationships help to eliminate the need to do multiple searches. For example, users might be interested in finding resources about the types of infestations of tomatoes. Instead of having to do multiple searches for each type of infestation (e.g. "tomatoes AND tomato mosaic tobamovirus", "tomatoes AND fungal wilt"), they can request the use of a formally defined ontological relationship "infecting agent" with the topic "tomatoes". If each tomato infestation resource in their system has been indexed using this relationship, by using it, they save themselves the work of having to do multiple searches, and instead retrieve just what they need through a single request.

The AOS Concept Server (AOS/CS)


The AOS Concept Server is the first step towards an "Ontology Service". The Concept Server shall function as a tool to help structure and standardise agricultural terminology to be used in a wide range of systems in the agricultural domain. It is envisioned to establish as a first stop access point for structured, standardized agricultural terminology. The Concept Server will provide a core ontology in the domain of agriculture that people can take as a starting point for building more detailed domain specific ontologies. The project now foresees an online system that can be accessed for modelling, serving and managing agricultural terminology. Selected maintainers will have access to the system for management, maintenance and modelling. Public users will be able to browse, download parts or the whole ontology in various formats and consult other services, such as search services, translation services etc.

In order to create a Concept Server (CS) FAO's multilingual thesaurus AGROVOC serves as the starting point. It is necessary to restructure it from the current term-based system to a concept-based system. Current flaws in the conceptual model need to be assessed and definitions and constraints added. Moreover, the traditional thesaurus relationships are very generic and need to be refined. We have identified a number of basic ontological relationships that will be applied in the CS.

AOS and the Semantic Web


With respect to the Semantic Web
Semantic Web
The Semantic Web is a collaborative movement led by the World Wide Web Consortium that promotes common formats for data on the World Wide Web. By encouraging the inclusion of semantic content in web pages, the Semantic Web aims at converting the current web of unstructured documents into a "web of...

 initiative, the AOS would strive to:
  • increase the efficiency and consistency with which multilingual agricultural resources are described and associated together;
  • increase functionality and relevance in accessing these resources; and
  • provide a framework for sharing common descriptions, definitions and relations within the agricultural community.

See also

  • Controlled vocabulary
    Controlled vocabulary
    Controlled vocabularies provide a way to organize knowledge for subsequent retrieval. They are used in subject indexing schemes, subject headings, thesauri, taxonomies and other form of knowledge organization systems...

  • Knowledge representation
    Knowledge representation
    Knowledge representation is an area of artificial intelligence research aimed at representing knowledge in symbols to facilitate inferencing from those knowledge elements, creating new elements of knowledge...

  • Ontology (computer science)
    Ontology (computer science)
    In computer science and information science, an ontology formally represents knowledge as a set of concepts within a domain, and the relationships between those concepts. It can be used to reason about the entities within that domain and may be used to describe the domain.In theory, an ontology is...

  • RDF
    Resource Description Framework
    The Resource Description Framework is a family of World Wide Web Consortium specifications originally designed as a metadata data model...

  • Semantic Web
    Semantic Web
    The Semantic Web is a collaborative movement led by the World Wide Web Consortium that promotes common formats for data on the World Wide Web. By encouraging the inclusion of semantic content in web pages, the Semantic Web aims at converting the current web of unstructured documents into a "web of...

  • OWL
    Web Ontology Language
    The Web Ontology Language is a family of knowledge representation languages for authoring ontologies.The languages are characterised by formal semantics and RDF/XML-based serializations for the Semantic Web...


Related links

  • Agricultural Information Management Standards Website
    Agricultural Information Management Standards
    The Agricultural Information Management Standards, abbreviated to AIMS, is a web portal managed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations . It disseminates standards and good practices in information management for the support of the right to food, sustainable agriculture and...

  • Agricultural Metadata Element Set
    AgMES
    The AgMES initiative was developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and aims to encompass issues of semantic standards in the domain of agriculture with respect to description, resource discovery, interoperability and data exchange for different types of information...

  • AGROVOC
    AGROVOC
    AGROVOC was first developed in the 1980s as a multilingual structured thesaurus for all subject fields in agriculture, forestry, fisheries, food and related domains . Its main purpose was to standardize the indexing process for the AGRIS database in order to make searching simpler and more...

  • Agricultural Information and Knowledge Management Papers
  • RSS feed of news and events

External links


Documents


Tools

  • KAON2 Close-source inference engine for OWL-DL and DL-safe rules
  • Protege OWL OWL plugin for the Protégé ontology editor
  • See also AOS Tools